Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events

    News

    Print this page

    On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, the body of a young boy was found in Cherokee Park without identification. At 5:34 p.m., 12-year old Ray Allen Etheridge would be pronounced dead and would not be identified for another four hours, when his mother reported him missing.

    In a whirlwind 48-hours, Louisville Metro Police have been able to piece together the beginning of a tragic story that culminated in the fatal stabbing of Etheridge by 21-year old Joseph Cambron.

    Ray Etheridge was a homeless child, the victim of hard times and Louisville’s growing homeless population. His family lives in cars or motels. After his mother signed him out of his alternative school in Clark County around 1 p.m., they traveled together to the Mid-City Mall area to wait for his stepfather to get off work. At some point during this wait, Ray made his way to Cherokee Park, where he met up with Cambron, a man whose acquaintance Ray had made sometime in the weeks prior. Cambron too was homeless, with a camp set up in the park.

    A runner at Cherokee Park discovered Ray in the woods behind the pavilion around 4:30 p.m. On Wednesday morning, LMPD announced that Ray’s death had been ruled a homicide, withholding the cause of death and asking the community for information about the boy’s activity before his death. Wednesday afternoon, Cambron called police wanting to talk about the incident and ultimately confessing his involvement, as well as his attempt to hide the knife used to stab Etheridge.

    Cambron has been charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence. Cambron allegedly stabbed Etheridge following an altercation, the cause of which has not been released.

    The news of Etheridge’s death has sparked conversation around Louisville, with comments ranging from sympathy for the loss of life:

    To raised questions about Cambron’s past and criminal history:

    To calls for Biblical justice:

    And questions about Louisville’s homeless population:

    Louisville’s homeless community has grown significantly in the last decade. According to a 2010 report released by Louisville Metro government, there were 8,582 children in JCPS during the 2008-2009 school year who had been homeless at some point that year – nearly one in nine students total. The number of homeless students in 2009 would fill 119 school busses.

    According to a 2011 report by the National Center on Family Homelessness, one out of every 45 children in the US is homeless – 1.6 million American kids do not have a place to call home. The majority of these are under 7 years old.

    Homeless youth are more likely to become the victims of crime and violence. According to a Toronto report by York University and the University of Guelph, more than 76 percent of the homeless youth surveyed reported being the victims of violent crime in the past year, three-quarters of which were the victims of multiple incidents.

    To find more about Louisville’s homeless population, please visit The Forgotten Louisville and Coalition for the Homeless.

    There is a memorial fund has been set up at PNC Bank under the account “Ray Allen Etheridge Memorial Fund.”

    Photo released by family.

    Michelle Eigenheer's picture

    About Michelle Eigenheer

    A Louisville transplant beginning to appreciate all the city's small things.

    More from author:      

    Share On:

    Upcoming Events

      Event Finder

      Subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or RSS